A group show of young artists recently showcased at Artchowk Gallery in Karachi. It features the works of Faiza Bhatti, Farrukh Adnan, Meena Haroon, Ozma Bhatti, Sana Durrani and Tayyaba Sabir. Faiza Bhatti’s practice is not restricted to any single medium, but largely talks about ideas. The resultant practice appears in layered meanings in all her works. These meanings are in the form of self-explanatory abstract information which usually carries a code of dialogue between the artist, her inner core and the outside world. Her work is mostly based on lunar eclipse experiences related to social behavior and the belief about a lunar eclipse and the pregnant woman. Her work is autobiographical, concentrating on her own self; by emphasizing the lunar eclipse. Her experiences are shown through performances according to the phases she goes through every now and then, such as the phases of loneliness, unacceptance, ignorance and trying to escape her current reality of being. The gradual development of her works and its process has been open ended and continues to be the same.
The work of Farrukh Adnan revolves around genealogical and personal examination of Tulamba where he was born, his hometown located in southern Punjab, Pakistan. This engages in discussions relating to how we interpret a space within its context and how context itself builds sometimes out of the “syntax”. It also discusses how structures functions interpret while we are in the process of Flaneur, thus stressing the importance of other meanings. The main aim behind his work is to present an idea of walking as a form of creation, or an illusionary space which defines the real space, therefore paving way for new and sometimes opposite interpretations of the same space. His interest of wandering pushes him to explore and investigate socio-political and cultural aspects of space (Tulamba) through his art practice. He engages with the space within his practice, and tries to find connections with it through his own experiences. It is in relation to “space” “historical significance” “current global values” as well as its connection with another world. Furthermore, he also tries to figure out the “sense of self” and “sense of space”, both esthetically as well as the connection between space and time. Intricate, repetitive and various kinds of lines, symbols, patterns, surveying and excavation plans are executed layer by layer in his work to recognize the historical significance of particular space (Tulamba).
Trained as a Miniature painter, this body of work of the artist Meena Haroon has been influenced by the specific formal orientation of objects within space, which exists in Mughal Miniature paintings. Subsequently, this orientation of objects and spaces investigates the personal and social expression of self-organization and self-identity. Throughout in history archeologists have discovered about various civilization and its people through the recovery and analysis of material culture and their objects which were left behind as evidence of their existence in the particular region. The existences of objects are associated with human and their bodily traces. The objects contain acts and actions of time within them and our memories are inlaid in those objects that define human existence and its cultural significance. The relationship between people and its objects marks the human identity and its existence in its absences. Absence refers to the idea of impressions, marks and objects left behind by the human body. The impressions of necklaces are narrating about its owners and its history. These necklaces are in possessions of different people and are expressing the stories of their possessors. The impressions are about our experiences associated with presences and represents absences because one cannot experience it again. With such traces of memories through materials and processes, the artist tries to redefine the meaning of objects by transforming them and celebrating them in tangible marks that shift the existing object into their impressions and about the presences of human associating with objects which they leave behind.
The artist Ozma Bhatti’s work is about spontaneous expression and is encouraged by surrealism, automatism and shallow pictorial space. She has explored varied states of human consciousness, enmeshing reality and non-reality in her work. Monochromatic and intricately detailed, with specialism explored in the punched holes and cuts to the surface of the paper, she has always been fascinated by the spontaneous drawings done by people- doodles on notebooks, scraps of paper, even walls, with no preconceived ideas about what he or she is drawing, or who will be looking at or judging the work. Without even thinking of it as ‘work’, this human art speaks truly from the heart and also spills out of the deeper, unaware or dimly aware parts of the human psyche. As one grows it is hard to shed one’s self of preconceptions, but the simple exercise of drawing spontaneously does indeed unlock many beautiful surprises. For example, anything or incident may engender fear in a person during the early stages of life, which then may be triggered by various factors at different stages of a person’s life and take different forms through various associations. A person can become overwhelmed or captured by fear while at the same time struggling to get rid of it. It motivates a person towards negative or positive effort and is expressed in different ways such as drawing or writing. These primordial images make connections with the spontaneous drawings that inspire her work and have given a new dimension and richness to her relationship with what come out spontaneously from the human psyche. Her work based on drawing, doodling and scribbling and drawings creates images and symbols which show different characters and feelings.
Sana Durrani views art as an instinctive mode to show herself. As an artist, her intention is to promote an intuitive and spiritual understanding of reality. Her personal motivation is to communicate with the lost era through studying spaces which people inhabit. Although interior spaces are usually defined by walls and their confining boundaries however what she believes is, individuals or people living inside those spaces that play the most significant role through their existence. Her engagement with such personal spaces has generated multiple transformative experiences which have throughout been reflected in her art practice. This has also encouraged her to question the relationship between spaces and people and how both respond to each other. Tayyaba Sabir’s initial fascination is to see the deeper meaning of things. She is interested in the consequences of daily life experiences and belongings that outcome to human’s outer representation expressed through acts, gestures and emotions. She is dealing with subtleness and silence in her work through the sensibility and physicality of materials. Moreover, she use imagery and metaphors that are meaningful to her on a personal level to weave a story that is symbolic to represent childhood experiences reflect on to present in the relation of symbolic materials and mediums. This work gives a historical, poetic association to mundane life which everyone can associate with. This work shows desire, hope, silence, subtleness and struggle by the praying gestures of different hands positions. Materials would be molded identical to the form of hands so it would communicate about the fragility and silence. The hollow spaces inside and negative positive abstract positions communicate about filled but empty at the same time, giving and receiving, stillness of holding memory and experience.